As you know, a part of what I am doing is working with the NHS to establish a new work by building links with faith organisations. The idea is to help those with mental problems (of all sorts) by accessing spirituality.
We are at the stage now of asking faith organisations (that’s us in our churches) what sort of help they (we) need in order to begin the process. If you’ve been thinking that you might utilise something like this idea as a part of your mission/on-going work or a new work, then this might be a good time to give it some more thought and talk to your minister.
For example, if you think your church might have an outreach by helping people who are bereaved – and yes, bereavement can be a really big mental issue), then I can make a proposal to the NHS and ask them to put on a course on how to help those who are grieving and to train a small team in listening skills. The term mental health/mental problems/emotional well-being can be very wide and can affect us all, so we can think broadly here.
If you have contact with people who suffer from depression/anxiety or some other mental issue and think this might be an opening to reach out to people where you are, then we can put in a bid and ask for a counsellor/psychiatrist to help us understand the illness more and to know how to help. You may already be doing this of course, in which case we this might be a chance to add to what you already do.
If you are thinking that this might be a part of a much wider outreach and want some help in developing it (like putting on a Happiness course and a group to discuss spirituality or a drop-in for people who are grieving etc etc) then please talk to your minister. I am here and happy to talk it over and if it appropriate, I am happy to get involved.
Please let me know if this sounds like it might be of use and we can get thinking!